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Liz Wise '07
Amherst's Liz Wise fends off Plymouth's Hillary Arthur in Sunday's NCAA Regional Championship game.

Third-Ranked Jeffs Advance to Fourth Straight NCAA Final Four with 21-6 Win Over Plymouth St.

May 9, 2004

AMHERST, MA - The third-ranked Amherst College women’s lacrosse team rolled to a 21-6 victory over visiting ninth-ranked Plymouth State University in one of four NCAA Regional championship games on Sunday. Senior tri-captain Liz Martin (Baltimore, MD) netted six goals for the second straight game, while junior attacker Ashley Harmeling (N. Reading, MA) scored four goals and dished out five assists to lead the defending national champion Jeffs to the national semifinals for the fourth consecutive season. Amherst will face top-ranked Middlebury College - which advanced with a 20-6 win over Wheaton College - next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at St. John Fisher College’s Growney Stadium in Rochester, New York.

Harmeling’s nine-point outburst upped her 2004 NCAA Tournament total to 19 points, which places her eighth all-time for points scored in a tournament, while her 10 assists ranks fourth all-time, just three shy of the tournament record shared by Kristen Hanley of Middlebury College and former Lord Jeff Laura Schifter ’03. She also eclipsed the Amherst single-season record for assists, previously held by Abby Ouimet ’03, with her 50th. Martin increased her career goal total to 183, just one shy of the school record held by Kristin Osborn ’01.

Plymouth St. came out strong as senior Katie Sheridan (W. Sayville, NY) found the net just 26 seconds into regulation. The two teams swapped goals over the first 12 minutes, and the visitors clung to a 4-3 lead until the 17:00-mark. The Amherst offense then exploded with a 7-0 run, including a trio of scores by senior tri-captain Allison Aldrich (Cornwall, VT), to close the half with a 10-4 advantage.

The Jeffs tacked on three more goals in the opening minutes of the second half to stretch their lead to 13-4. The Panthers showed signs of life, netting a pair of scores just 23 seconds apart, by senior Jill Matteson (Chatham, MA) and sophomore Bethany Brown (Norwich, CT), respectively, but Amherst closed with eight straight scores to improve to 16-2 on the year.

Aldrich finished with five goals and two assists, while classmate Jackie Sargent (Concord, MA) and sophomore Caitie Parker (Bethesda, MD) each found the net twice. Junior Cate Smith (Saint James, MD) and first-year Alyssa Briody (Hopewell, NJ) scored a goal apiece as well and sophomore Scotty Hanley (Sparks, MD) and rookie Liz Wise (Scarsdale, NY) each dealt an assist

The Amherst defense was smothering, limiting Plymouth St. to just 16 shots while forcing 19 turnovers. Martin and sophomore Margaret Chute (Pawtucket, RI) collected six ground balls and caused four turnovers to lead the way, while senior Christine Ryan (Summit NJ), junior Jenna Swan-Gross (Philadelphia, PA) and sophomore Laura Brown (Bethesda, MD) performed outstanding as well. Junior Olivia D’Ambrosio (Farmington, CT) collected seven saves in net.

Sheridan had a goal and two assists, finishing her career as the fifth-leading goal scorer in Division III history with 270 career tallies. Brown and senior Michelle Norton (Sandwich, MA) each scored a pair of goals, while fellow senior Jill Matteson (Chatham, MA) found the net once and first-year Meg Cupoli (Southboro, MA) had an assist. Senior goalie Carmen Villanueva (E. Schodack, NY) posted 10 saves as the Panthers suffered their first loss of the season and finish at 17-1.

Amherst improved to 14-4 all-time and 7-0 at home in NCAA Tournament play.

VIEW PHOTOS from Saturday's game, courtesy of Amherst sports information student assistant Jon Edwards '04.